Court in­di­cates Halkidiki mines are le­gal

Rul­ing casts doubt on Energy Min­istry’s de­ci­sion to sus­pend tech­ni­cal study

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The Coun­cil of State has ruled in fa­vor of Hel­las Gold, the com­pany man­ag­ing the mines in Halkidiki, north­ern Greece, that are the sub­ject of a dis­pute with the gov­ern­ment, it emerged yesterday.

The gov­ern­ment sus­pended a tech­ni­cal study for the mines’ pro­cess­ing plant, which led to the com­pany halt­ing work at the Sk­ouries and Olympiada sites and sus­pend- ing dozens of min­ers.

The de­ci­sion from Greece’s high­est ad­min­is­tra­tive court, which is the re­sult of ac­tion taken ear­lier by Hel­las Gold – a sub­sidiary of Cana­dian min­ing gi­ant El­do­rado – sug­gests that the firm has abided by reg­u­la­tions in the con­duct of its tech­ni­cal stud­ies and that the Energy Min­istry did not have a valid rea­son for block­ing the pro­ject.

El­do­rado’s coun­try man­ager for Greece, Ed­uardo Moura, said yesterday that the court ruled in fa­vor of El­do­rado af­ter the com­pany filed a law­suit in April against Greek author­i­ties on is­sues in­clud­ing a flash­melt­ing tech­ni­cal study.

“The rul­ing in fa­vor of [El­do­rado sub­sidiary] Hel­las Gold is the re­sult of a law­suit we filed months ago,” Moura told Reuters.

“It doesn’t al­low us to start ac­tiv­i­ties in Halkidiki but it un­der­mines the ar­gu­ment that the min­istry used to re­voke our per­mits,” he added.

Hel­las Gold is­sued a state­ment say­ing that the Coun­cil of State de­ci­sion “proves be­yond doubt” that the com­pany is op­er­at­ing within the law and ful­fill­ing all its obli­ga­tions.

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